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How to create the best YouTube thumbnails
Updated: May 27, 2021 by Louise Myers 21 Comments
How to Make YouTube Thumbnails Banners
Wondering how to make the best YouTube thumbnails?
Thumbnails that captivate potential viewers and encourage them to click?
When creating videos for YouTube, the thumbnail may not seem important.
You might think – as long as the content is good, the thumbnail doesn’t matter.
What is a thumbnail on YouTube?
The video thumbnail is the first thing viewers see when they browse YouTube. It’s a small, clickable, static image that either grabs their attention—or keeps them turning.
YouTube offers you a selection of frames from your uploaded video to serve as a thumbnail, but this still image will rarely serve you well.
You need something that catches the eye and conveys at a glance what your video is about. You want it to grab your audience and make them think: I have to check this out!
The thumbnail is usually the first impression of your video and essentially determines whether people will click through or not.
Designing a professional YouTube thumbnail not only helps improve your channel’s brand, but also attracts visitors and more attention to your content.
How to Make YouTube Thumbnails: Best Practices
How to Create Effective YouTube Thumbnails? Here are 8 essential tips to get you started.
If you take the time to create a professional-looking thumbnail, start with the right size and dimensions.
According to YouTube guidelines, your thumbnail image should be 1280 x 720 pixels and at least 640 pixels wide. A 16:9 aspect ratio is ideal as it is most commonly used in YouTube players and previews.
Making a thumbnail image that is too small is a big mistake. Although thumbnail images appear relatively small in YouTube search results, don’t forget that YouTube videos can also be embedded.
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Because of this, you want a larger image size that can be scaled down rather than a small size that will be scaled up. This ensures the highest quality.
Also, you must save the image format JPG, GIF, BMP or PNG and keep the file size under the 2MB limitUse a great photo as your YouTube thumbnail background
Strong visuals are essential to grab the attention of your viewers.
A high-quality image serving as a teaser for the video not only provides context, but also gives your audience a chance to become familiar with your style.
Include title Text into Your Youtube Thumbnail
Adding text captions to your video thumbnail has many benefits, but the biggest benefit is that it gives viewers more context to your video.
A simple image, no matter how beautiful, will not convey that your video is a brilliant guide to solving one of your viewers’ most pressing problems.
Capture that core idea in a compelling title that will captivate those who will enjoy your video
If you create a series, the text headings in the thumbnail might be numbered. Similar to a TV show with numbered episodes and seasons, numbered YouTube thumbnails help your viewers keep track of the content they are consuming.
Plus, it prompts them to search for more!
Use The Best Font and Color Grading
Now that you have a title, you need to choose a font.
It is always important to familiarize your audience with your brand and content. A good way to do this is to keep your thumbnails consistent with the same fonts, catchy colors, and a strong design.
If you’ve already established your visual branding, that’s great. Use your headline font for your title text.
If not, choose a nice clean heading font in a design tool like Snappa. You want something that is clear and easy to read at a glance. Make sure the font personality expresses your corporate brand.
A sans serif or “gothic” font like the one shown below works well. Fat or heavy weight is a good choice.